Inflammation across tissues: can shared cell biology help design smarter trials?
Hosack T., Thomas T., Ravindran R., Uhlig HH., Travis SPL., Buckley CD.
Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) are responsible for substantial global disease burden and associated health-care costs. Traditional models of research and service delivery silo their management within organ-based medical disciplines. Very often patients with disease in one organ have comorbid involvement in another, suggesting shared pathogenic pathways. Moreover, different IMIDs are often treated with the same drugs (including glucocorticoids, immunoregulators and biologics). Unlocking the cellular basis of these diseases remains a major challenge, leading us to ask why, if these diseases have so much in common, they are not investigated in a common manner. A tissue-based, cellular understanding of inflammation might pave the way for cross-disease, cross-discipline basket trials (testing one drug across two or more diseases) to reduce the risk of failure of early-phase drug development in IMIDs. This new approach will enable rapid assessment of the efficacy of new therapeutic agents in cross-disease translational research in humans.